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Seed enhancements

  • A. G. Taylor (a1), P. S. Allen (a2), M. A. Bennett (a3), K. J. Bradford (a4), J. S. Burris (a5) and M. K. Misra (a5)...

Seed enhancements may be defined as post-harvest treatments that improve germination or seedling growth, or facilitate the delivery of seeds and other materials required at the time of sowing. This definition includes three general areas of enhancements: pre-sowing hydration treatments (priming), coating technologies and seed conditioning. Pre-sowing hydration treatments include non-controlled water uptake systems (methods in which water is freely available and not restricted by the environment) and controlled systems (methods that regulate seed moisture content preventing the completion of germination). Three techniques are used for controlled water uptake: priming with solutions or with solid particulate systems or by controlled hydration with water. These priming techniques will be discussed in this paper with reference to methodology, protocol optimization, drying and storage. Coating technologies include pelleting and film coating, and coatings may serve as delivery systems. Seed conditioning equipment upgrades seed quality by physical criteria. Integration of these methods can be performed, and a system is described to upgrade seed quality in Brassica that combines hydration, coating and conditioning. Upgrading is achieved by detecting sinapine leakage from nonviable seeds in a coating material surrounding the seeds. Seed-coat permeability directly influences leakage rate, and seeds of many species have a semipermeable layer. The semipermeable layer restricts solute diffusion through the seed coat, while water movement is not impeded. Opportunities for future seed enhancement research and development are highlighted.

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Seed Science Research
  • ISSN: 0960-2585
  • EISSN: 1475-2735
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